Police seek info on man found dead in landfill

January 3, 2011 9:45:26 AM PST
Police are trying to determine the whereabouts of a New Castle man found dead in a Wilmington landfill in the days before he was discovered.

The body of 66-year-old John Wheeler III was dumped out of a garbage truck at the Cherry Island landfill on New Year's Eve. His death was ruled a homicide.

Investigators have not yet said how Wheeler died.

Newark police are investigating Wheeler's slaying because the garbage truck made ten pickups from a series of trash bins in Newark before going to the landfill.

Those locations were on the eastern side of Newark - Library Avenue, Marrows Road, Ogletown Road and East Main Street.

Police believe Wheeler's body had been placed inside one of the bins and had not been there long when the truck arrived.

The Newark Police Department is now trying to figure out Wheelers whereabouts between December 28th and December 31st, 2010.

"We last know of his whereabouts on December 28th after he exited a train at the Amtrak train station. He was travelling from D.C. to Wilmington," said Lt. Mark Farrall of the Newark Police.

The News-Journal reports that Wheeler was a Vietnam War vet, a defense consultant in Washington, D.C., and worked in the administrations of Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Nicholas Sansone at 302-366-7110 ext. 135 or Nick.Sansone@cj.state.de.us. You can send an anonymous text message tip by texting 302NPD and your message to TIP411. Information can also be provided anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333, where a reward may be available.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.